Survey shows growing awareness of human rights in business, but illustrates need for greater clarity - only a third of companies said they measure their human rights impacts

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13 June 2011

Results of Survey on Corporate Human Rights Preparedness

Author: Institute for Human Rights and Business

A new survey…shows growing awareness in corporations about their role and responsibilities in the area of human rights, but clearly flags the need for a more robust framework to approach and act on the issue…97 percent of the leaders surveyed believe business must respect…human rights…while only a third said their organisations measure their impact on human rights…While most respondents were aware of the...Global Compact, only a quarter had heard of the new United Nations-endorsed “Protect, Respect, Remedy” framework on business and human rights – which is due to be approved by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva this week…Sandra Macleod, CEO of Echo Research [which] conducted the survey, said the responses demonstrated that the UN “Protect, Respect, Remedy” framework was very timely.

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1 June 2011

[PDF] Institute for Human Rights & Business Survey on Corporate Human Rights Preparedness

Author: Institute for Human Rights and Business & Echo Research

In order to assess the perspectives of business leaders on business and human rights as part of their companies’ role in society, the IHRB has conducted a first global survey…The…survey was…completed by 97 people including directors of global communications and CEOs…[findings include that:] Over half of the respondents are aware of the growing numbers of claims of human rights abuse against business…Maintaining a good reputation is felt to be the prime motive for businesses in attending to human rights…Only a quarter know the UN framework “Protect, Respect, Remedy” very well. Most…rate the risk to their organisation from human rights issues as low…33%...say their organisation has no formal policy on human rights…Only a third…measure the impact of their business on human rights…The biggest stumbling block to embedding human rights is likely to be incomprehension among key managers. [refers to AngloGold Ashanti, Apple, Asahi Kosei, Barrick Gold, Boeing, BP, Chiquita, Google, Lundbeck, Maersk (part of A.P. Moller - Maersk), Monsanto, News International (part of News Corp), Nike, Novartis, Prada, Primark (part of Associated British Foods), Ramboll, Roche, Shell, Southwest Airlines, Statoil, Unilever, Vodafone]

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